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wingrovebuyer
wingrovebuyer, Senior Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 737
Experience:  Bachelor of Laws (Honours); PG Diploma in Law; Member of ALA; 9 years' experience
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I am a joint tenant and want to leave at the end of my current

Customer Question

I am a joint tenant and want to leave at the end of my current agreement.

I gave notice that I intended to leave, but the other tenant wanted to remain:
"I'm not intending on remaining at the property for another tenancy, however Lee is and we will endeavour to find a replacement to continue the tenancy."

My housemate then told them that I had said to her I would be paying unless I found someone:
"He now has to advertise for someone to take on his room, just like all tenants before him have done and until someone has taken the room he does know he has to keep paying rent."

They replied with:
"We will contact your Landlord and advise that Mr Mason will be looking to vacate at the end of the tenancy and a replacement will move in and agree with the renewal at £1408.33 pcm for a period of 12 months fixed term. We will let you know their thoughts on this.

If your Landlord does agree, please be advised that the administration fee and referencing fee for the replacement tenant is 7 days rent plus VAT - £310.00 + VAT as per clause 3.3 of your Tenancy Agreement. As stated in the email below, Mr Mason will be liable for the rent at the property until a new tenant has passed referencing and a new Tenancy Agreement has been signed."

(the email below referring to Lee's email)

I never responded to these emails or agreed to any of this and the current fixed term agreement ends on the 31st of March.

I have honestly tried my hardest to find someone and have had no success. Only 1 person has contacted me and they weren't interested. I've contacted 30 or 40 people and have found 3 other people to view the property and they also weren't interested.

I don't feel like I'll find anyone to move in to this property now and just want to get out at the end of my agreement. I called the land agent and they told me that the tenancy would become a rolling monthly agreement at the end of march and I'd have to pay for a new contract and keep paying the rent (which has increased) until I found a replacement.

It doesn't seem right that I essentially have become trapped in a tenancy...
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  wingrovebuyer replied 3 years ago.

wingrovebuyer :

hello. Can you please tell me when you gave your notice to quit?

Customer:

The landlord asked if we wanted to renew and my response was:

Customer:

"I'm not intending on remaining at the property for another tenancy, however Lee is and we will endeavour to find a replacement to continue the tenancy."

Customer:

I'm guessing that's not good enough

wingrovebuyer :

thank you. When was this please?

Customer:

17th of january

Customer:

sorry, am a little stressed out with all this!

wingrovebuyer :

thank you. There is generally no obligation on a tenant to give notice if they intend to leave at the end of a fixed term tenancy. yyou have advised your landlord thank you intend to leave after the expiry of the fixed-term, and he has no right to demand that you find a replacement tenant. he might be able to demand that you find a replacement tennant if you were seeking to leave during the fixed-term, and i wonder if the agents have misunderstood our situation here.

wingrovebuyer :

apologies for the poor typing above. I am using voice recognition for the first time!

Customer:

My housemate has indicated that she wishes to stay, and has emailed them as such telling them as much

Customer:

Sorry, I'm a little stressed and my typing has gone to pot

Customer:

(maybe voice recognition would be better!)

Customer:

Should it be after this date, then there will be a charge of £210.00 (£175.00 plus VAT) to renew the existing Tenancy on 1st April 2014 for Ms Howard and Mr Mason as it will now be a rolling contract and then when the new Tenant is found, an additional cost of £372.00 for the amendments to the Tenancy, (as an addendum will need to be drawn up) and for referencing.

wingrovebuyer :

i suggest that you write back to the agents and tell them that you have no legal obligation to find a new tenant and that you have no legal liability to continue to pay the rent after the expiry of the fixed-term.

Customer:

Ok, I spoke to them over the phone and they said that unless both tenants agreed to leave the tenancy would become a rolling monthly agreement and that I would have to pay for a new contract and be obligated to keep paying rent

Customer:

new contract being about 200 pounds

wingrovebuyer :

thank you. I think the point here is that you wish to leave the property. This will be on the expiry of the current fixed term tenancy. if you wanted the tenancy to continue as a periodic tenancy then the situation might be different.

Customer:

ok, is there any specific period of notice required for a fixed term joint tenancy

Customer:

I can't find anything on the web, but a lot of vague information about notice to quit and it having to be 'a valid written notice and there are special rules about how and when this must be done.'

wingrovebuyer :

thank you. I note that you have been told that both tenants must agree that you can leave h. However, this is not true. A tenancy only continues if all parties want it to.

Customer:

That's what I assumed, but the person I spoke to at alex neil indicated that I couldn't leave the contract unless I found a replacement or both of us agreed to leave - I'm originally from Australia and so was unsure if this was true.

Customer:

There was nothing in the tenancy agreement about this, and so I assumed it was something strange regarding joint tenancies here I was unaware of.

wingrovebuyer :

You do not need to have given a notice. Your tenancy is coming to an end. Normally, if the tenants want it to roll on, it will do so. However, if one party wants to leave, that mean it will not roll on. Your flat mate could stay, but that's between him and the landlord.

Customer:

Ok, thanks for that, this has be unbelievably stressful to deal with so far.

wingrovebuyer :

You have been misinformed. I am not surprised you are stressed!

Customer:

I was afraid I was locked into this contract - the lady at Alex Neil was very firm about me having to find a replacement or keep paying

wingrovebuyer :

Tell the agent you are leaving at the end of the month and what your flatmate does is up to him.

Customer:

I'm assuming that unless I actually sign the agreement I'm not obligated to stay, despite what my co-tenant & land agent have been email each other about then?

Customer:

Thanks so much for your help, I was really worried.

wingrovebuyer :

You can't be locked in if it is expiring. They have misunderstood. If you were trying to leave during the fixed term then they'd be right. However, all your saying is that you don't want to comtinue with a periodic tenancy afer te fixed term expires.

wingrovebuyer :

Sign nothing!

wingrovebuyer :

Glad to have helped. Please don't forget to leave a rating for me.

Customer:

Ok thanks, XXXXX XXXXX them tomorrow and let them know I'm not staying!

Customer:

So I don't need to give a notice to quit in writing or do anything like that? Or should I email them, is that enough?

wingrovebuyer :

good luck. And sorry again for the poor typing. this is my first attempt with voice recognition software!

Customer:

Sorry to ask again, I just want to be 100% sure when I tell them that I'm not obliged to do anything further

Customer:

They were very adamant on the phone

Customer:

Ok thanks again, you've been very helpful.

wingrovebuyer :

you are under no obligation to provide any notice. You have already told them that you are leaving and i suppose it is courteous to advise them of this.

Customer:

Ok, thanks again, you've been extremely helpful. Thanks again.

wingrovebuyer, Senior Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 737
Experience: Bachelor of Laws (Honours); PG Diploma in Law; Member of ALA; 9 years' experience
wingrovebuyer and other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hello again, I have found the following information online:


section 5(3)(b) HA 1988 is quite clear. A Statutory Periodic Tenancy is "deemed to have been granted by the person who was the landlord under the fixed term tenancy immediately before it came to an end to the person who was then the tenant under that tenancy". The effect therefore is that a joint tenant is committed not only to the fixed term, but also to the first two periods of the SPT if one or more of his co-tenants remains in occupation.


 


This seems to go against your advice from last night and I am somehow locked into the tenancy for an additional 2 months.

Expert:  wingrovebuyer replied 3 years ago.
No, that's not correct. That section applies to assured tenancies and not assured shorthold tenancies, which is what yours is. Best, wb

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